The qualifications for a dyslexia support tutor are a  grey area and one that PATOSS and ADSHE (and of course the SLC) are very concerned about. We are working together to try and clarifyThe initial stage of this is to carry out a 'skills audit' of what is happening in HEIs and agencies at the present time. From this we can identify baseline levels of competency and will be able to recommend minimum qualifications going forward. Sharing information about professional training and standards is certainly something we aspire to and there are minimum qualifications and extensive CPD requirements already in place for specialist tutors who wish to apply for Practicing Certificates (

This isn't going to happen overnight so in the meantime we are reliant on lists such as those maintained by Patoss and the BDA. ADSHE will also have a list of specialist tutors available on it's website although this will not be available until the autumn.

At the present there is no prescribed minimum qualification for a dyslexia support tutor working in HE although the vast majority of HEIs set their own minimum qualifications. Many (most?) HEIs will have long-serving specialist tutors who do not have what might be considered an appropriate qualification but who nevertheless have demonstrated that they have the skills and are extremely proficient in their role - the 'competencies and skills' that you mention. There are as ever other complications and whilst the inappropriate use of postgraduates and unqualified inexperienced dyslexia tutors is clearly not acceptable in some areas of the country it is already difficult to meet the demand for qualified dyslexia support tutors. Any arbitrary imposition of a minimum qualification would further deplete the pool of available tutors and might make it impossible to offer students the support they need.


Ros Lehany
Chair- Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education

email: [log in to unmask]

Work: 0113 2193038

Mobile: 0779 149 4690



From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of amanda kent
Sent: 04 June 2009 13:58
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: quotes for support tutoring



There are a range of trust-building activities and measurement scales that are used across a range of industries for team development and to identify areas where improved trust would facilitate things like productivity or communication. (For an example see the Oxfam publication about building trust in diverse teams : .The issue of qualifications would probably be encompassed by ‘competency and skills’ ie the extent to which the organisation or team in question are perceived as able to get the job done.


It is often the case though that there is some basic level of qualification that is required to meet a person specification and this enables certain assumptions to be made about baseline levels of competency. In multi-professional settings there is a high risk of stereotyping acting as a block to effective co-operation – one way to counter that is to share of information about the characteristics of each other’s professional training, core competencies and so on.


Generally speaking, one aspect of the evolution of professional identity involves a push for self-regulation as a recognised system for setting entry requirements and maintaining standards. That’s not the same thing as registering as a supplier of services. It also depends on where you are situated as to where you see the locus of self-regulation.




--- On Wed, 3/6/09, John Conway <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: John Conway <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: RE: quotes for support tutoring
To: "Amanda Kent" <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, 3 June, 2009, 8:39 AM

Forgive me if I'm out of date - this NMH business is moving so fast -
but I thought there already was a requirement [or at least a strong
presumption] that all dyslexia skills support had to be delivered by a
qualified dyslexia specialist?  I hear rumours from time to time of any
postgrad doing it, but surely that can and should be stopped.  I suppose
a register of some kind may become essential if HEIs and private
companies do not themselves specify qualified staff?   One tends to
think of trust being important here, but trust is not enforceable nor

I guess I'm thinking aloud that a sense of distrust has created a
situation where qualifications must be evidenced by either a register or
membership of a body [e.g. PATOSS / ADSHE ???] though are either truly
'professional bodies which require qualifications for membership'.
Perhaps tutors should be registered with SFE as suppliers?

I doubt I'm helping with this, but I'm trying to clear my thoughts at